Providence vs. USC Pick
It’s the Pac-12 vs. Big East tonight when No. 11 USC faces No. 11 Providence at 9:10PM ET in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament.
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, USC is favored tonight, as the Trojans are getting odds of -2.5 points against Providence. The over/under total for the game is listed at 141 points. These two are taking part in the play-in game as part of the East Region from University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.
USC got an at-large bid into the tournament after going 24-9 on the season and finishing fifth in the Pac-12. The Trojans went 16-16 against the spread this season, including a 7-9 mark ATS away from home. The Trojans average 78.7 points per game on offense while allowing 73.2 on defense. Bennie Boatwright is leading the team with 14.6 points per game while Chimezie Metu adds 14.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest.
Providence got an at-large bid by going 20-12 on the season and finishing tied for third in the Big East. The Friars went 20-12 against the spread this season, including 9-5 ATS away from home. Providence is averaging 70.2 points per game on offense while allowing 66.6 on defense. On the road, the Friars are allowing 72.7 on defense. Rodney Bullock is leading the team with 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while Emmitt Holt is adding 12.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest.
This is a tough call. USC hasn’t played all that well lately, not really being able to beat any team of note. It’s last marquee win came against UCLA on Jan. 25 at home. Providence had won six straight before losing to a short-handed Creighton by 12 in their Big East Tournament opener last week. Still, the Friars had wins over the likes of Butler, Creighton, Marquette and Xavier in the weeks leading up to that. I like the Friars to compete tonight and can see USC being the more likely to have a letdown with the long trip to Ohio.
MARCH MADNESS PREDICTION: PROVIDENCE +2.5